Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cincinnati Trip

The four of us traveled to Cincinnati for Memorial Day weekend to spend time with Tom's immediate and extended families. This was our first overnight trip since Ava was born. It was definitely a learning experience. I searched for lots of ideas to keep a toddler busy and happy on long car rides, and came up with a pretty nifty bag of tricks. My goal was and still is to not ever have to rely on movies and cartoons in the van. So far, so good!

There are lots of ideas on keeping toddlers happy in the car on Mom's Minivan. However, they leave out one very, very important tip on that site, as far as keeping your toddler happy and occupied. Total serendipity, but we learned that the best thing to entertain a toddler is...a sibling. Seriously, Liesl and Ava kept each other busy and happy (if not somewhat loudly...) during most of both trips. Who could be bored when you can teach your baby sister all the ins and outs of Peek-a-boo? (Endlessly!!!! Did I mention I forgot to pack ear plugs??)

We also learned a lot about what works and what doesn't when traveling with two tiny kids. What didn't work: the bouncy seat to hold the baby (a total waste of space and effort--she's really too big for it now.) What to use instead: relatives' arms. Especially your brother-in-law's patient girlfriend, who has 9 nieces and nephews of her own and therefor is quite experienced. (Thank you, Karen...we owe you big time!) What worked: Playing with Daddy's and Uncle Robert's old toys. I didn't bother packing many toys for Liesl, she had a ball playing with those found in Oma and Opa's house.

Another thing that worked out well was traveling with the cloth diapers. I was a bit worried about that, as it is difficult and bulky to pack cloth diapers for two kids, but we just took a laundry basket to carry the diapers, cloth wipes, and wet bags. We stuck that in the back of the van and left a space free in the cargo area for changing diapers on the road. Worked great.

Liesl received a gift of Crayola "Twistables" when Ava was
born. I saved them for a special occasion.
These are excellent for car rides.

"Yarn pictures," an activity that uses sandpaper and yarn to create pictures and patterns.
Success! Kept her busy for about an hour on each trip.

Liesl's first visit to the Krohn Conservatory. Tom and I used to visit the conservatory on every trip to Cincinnati, though this is the first time since we've had the kids that we've been there. It's beautiful, interesting, educational, and free.
Every Christmas, they have a life-sized nativity scene with real animals.

Plants, everywhere. It's an epidemic.

Yep, that really is water falling down that wall.

Family photo. :-) We don't have many of these, a nice lady at the conservatory offered to do this for us. Worth framing, I think!

Best seat in the house

Fish in the Orchid Room

Forget the lovely, natural orchid display on the walls and trees in the Orchid Room--she'd rather see the fish.

The Bonsai collection

Ava in the Baby Hawk at Eden Park. Ava and I LOVE that Baby Hawk!
Most comfortable, long-wearing baby carrier I've tried. (And I've tried them ALL.)

The view of the Ohio River from Eden Park. Even on a hazy day, it's lovely. Lots of barges on the river. Photos cannot do it justice.

Liesl, sleeping in Daddy's old crib, in Daddy's old room. (And she pinched her church shoes out of her suitcase when we weren't looking, and put them on her feet herself after her nap. Thus, the cheesy--and slightly guilty--grin.)

2nd cousins, the sons of Tom's cousin Katherine.
Liesl, 2-1/2; Ava, 7 months; Conner, 5, Keegan, 3 months

I "borrowed" Keegan from Katherine for a few giddy minutes.
Oh, those tiny, cuddly newborns!

1 comment:

Julieann said...

Definately worth framing!!! I love the yarn and board idea--that is so neat!!! Loved ALL the pictures. I also want to say, I got your question about Hair:)...will answer that this week--along with pictures for you too.

I enjoyed this post!